Thayne Yazzie was born in Gallup, N.M., and grew up on the Navajo Indian Reservation in St. Michaels, Ariz. He attended a small private elementary school where he became fascinated with the arts and began drawing illustrated comics. In 2001, he moved to Bellingham, where he continued to explore music and art.
Yazzie is combining both of those interests in a event he calls the OLIO Halloween Art Show and Music Festival, at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at The Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. Tickets are $5 at the door, but will be available online for an early-bird special at Eventbrite.com for $4.
Question: When did you first become interested in the arts?
Answer: At Kulshan Middle School there were a variety of unique elective classes on subjects such as chess, biking, catapult building and guitar. I took the guitar elective and from there I delved into a world filled sound, energy and electricity.
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Q: What are you up to currently?
A: I am a student at Western Washington University pursuing a degree in multimedia production and graphic design, with a minor in audio recording.
I am also a technology assistant at WWU’s Student Technology Center, where I help students and professors with a variety of computer programs and teach workshops such as the Adobe Creative Suite. My main tools include Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign, Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools, Reason, and Rhino 3d.
A: I am a also songwriter, guitarist, and slam-poetry vocalist (aka rap) for the band The Vonvettas. The band includes Sam Chue on vocals and guitar and Eli Savage on drums. Over the past two years we’ve created and produced a full length double-disc album called “Lucy and Jet Black.”
Our music spans across a variety of styles, including electrically driven guitar-based rhythms with soulful splashes of jazz, heavy metal, blues and rock ’n’ roll. Our album is available on iTunes and Bandcamp. Our physical album, which includes some incredibly awesome art, can be picked up at Everyday Music in downtown Bellingham and Village Books in Fairhaven.
Q: Anything else?
A: I’m also in a couple of other music projects as well. I perform with Katie Gray in a band called Lead Vs Letters and have also been playing with pop-punk band The Medix.
On my own, I do a variety of solo acoustic acts, multi-effects looping with electric guitar, hip-hop production, and the engineering of full band albums. I also love to play piano and drums, and I’ve recently bought myself a theremin.
Q: What music and movies have influenced your work?
A: My influences for music include Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Rage Against the Machine, and David Bowie. My favorite films include “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Spirited Away,” “Benny and Joon,” “Paper Moon,” “The Dark Knight” and “Coraline.”
Inspirational influences in my life include Nikola Tesla; Stevie Ray Vaughn; Jimmy Page; my dad, Jonas Yazzie; and my mom, Patricia Briggs.
Q: What’s the Olio Halloween event all about?
A: Olio Media Group is a collection of Bellingham artists, musicians, poets, friends and family who share a committed love for supporting and embracing the ever-growing community of unique and creative souls. We have hosted a variety of shows like this over the past two years and have always committed to creating all-ages events that are open to all poets, musicians and artists of all kind to share and sell their work.
On Friday, Oct. 24, starting at 7 p.m., I will be hosting, along with my Olio mastermind partner in crime, Maia Anne, an all-encompassing art show that will include a variety of musical performances, multimedia art installations, 2-d art illustrations, food venders, Halloween costumes, games, silent auctions and more. It’s going to be a magnificent celebration of community and art.
Q: What’s on the horizon in your life?
A: Along with music, I am multimedia visual poet with fascination with ceramic sculpting, illustration, painting, computer animation, film, storytelling and graphic design. Just recently, I started a series of Native American paintings that tell the story of the Navajo creation myth. It is a rich, deeply complex and beautiful story that I plan to recreate in a style that reflects the geometrical and heavily detailed designs of the Navajo tradition.
I am also working on book of my own, called “Hattenfalls,” which is contemporary sci-fi about the power corporate food industries, futuristic technology and lucid dreaming. In the future, I would love to create things like this as my job. Someday I’d like to work for Pixar. Right now I am working on bringing a multimedia production company to life, called Olio Media Group.